I Have Dark Days. But I Also Have Hope.

It’s sometimes surprising – surreal even – how different things can be in the space of a year. I’m hoping to do some writing over the weekend because a year ago I was struggling very badly. Not that I don’t have my share of bad days now, but last year was bad. Below are a few paragraphs from a post on my blog, dated Nov 15, 2018…

*****

The question had been hounding me for days. It wasn’t so much the question that I was avoiding. It was the answer. I didn’t want to ask, because I strongly suspected what the answer would be. If I didn’t ask, I wouldn’t hear the answer, even though inside I not only knew the answer but that avoiding it would only exacerbate the issue. Conversations with trusted contacts only confirmed my suspicions. But still, I hesitated. Avoiding the issue was only feeding it, and the fact I was continuing to avoid it was a clear indication of the problem itself…

I spoke to my doctor – and even though he’s “just” a GP, he has a better grasp on mental illnesses than most. I explained everything that was going on. How quickly I was regressing. How despite me knowing that he knows my diagnosis, that inevitably I’d gloss over how I was doing. I told him the suicidal ideation was back, as bad as it’s ever been. That I’ve started to have auditory and visual hallucinations. That I’m either hyper-focused or more scattered than dust on a windy day. That I’d started drinking a lot heavier than I have in many years. That working one shift completely exhausts me on every level. That when I’m at work I can hardly give a decent effort, but yet when I’m home from work my mind is still at work, and usually fixated on all the negatives. That 6 hours is a great sleep, and that 2-3 hour nights are not uncommon. Moments of paranoia. Exhaustion. Emotional whiplash, peaks and spikes within hours…”

*****

I’m doing better these days but I’ll put a post together (I hope) that will be a nice retrospective.

This picture was taken this spring, at my grandma’s funeral. I thought it was fitting because a year ago, I had no hope. I was spiralling fast. Lately, I have dark days but as a whole, I have hope.

— Andrew Penner

 

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